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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n penury a state of extreme poverty or destitution "their indigence appalled him","a general state of need exists among the homeless"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Penury Absence of resources; want; privation; indigence; extreme poverty; destitution. "A penury of military forces.""They were exposed to hardship and penury .""It arises in neither from penury of thought."
    • Penury Penuriousness; miserliness.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n penury Lack; want; scantiness.
    • n penury Extreme poverty; want; indigence.
    • n penury Parsimoniousness; miserliness. Synonyms Indigence, Want, etc. See poverty.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Penury pen′ū-ri want: absence of means or resources: great poverty
    • ***


  • William Shakespeare
    “The weariest and most loathed worldly life, that age, ache, penury and imprisonment can lay on nature is a paradise, to what we fear of death.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. penuria,; cf. Gr. hunger, poverty, need, one who works for his daily bread, a poor man, to work for one's daily bread, to be poor: cf. F. pénurie,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. penuria; Gr. peina, hunger, penēs, poor.


In literature:

No gift of futurity had disclosed to her the wretchedness and penury that after years had prepared for her.
"The Trials of the Soldier's Wife" by Alex St. Clair Abrams
Brummell died in slovenly penury; Nash in contempt.
"The Wits and Beaux of Society" by Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton
Suicide, hatred of old age, of penury.
"We Philologists, Volume 8 (of 18)" by Friedrich Nietzsche
What others would have accepted as penuriousness she recognized as a sense of well-balanced justice.
"Parrot & Co." by Harold MacGrath
And this penuriousness extended to himself.
"Choice Readings for the Home Circle" by Anonymous
It would be a sin to relapse from this perfection to that penury.
"The Entailed Hat" by George Alfred Townsend
Very few members of the House of Peers are richer than Lord Blair, and still fewer more penurious.
"The Triumphs of Eugène Valmont" by Robert Barr
Two hundred thousand from thence were captive led, Their goods dispersed, and they with penury fed.
"Everyman and Other Old Religious Plays, with an Introduction" by Anonymous
I believe in being thrifty, but the way some of those people saved up their hunger for our dinner was too penurious for mine.
"Skiddoo!" by Hugh McHugh
Genius has a right to a penurious, and even to a sordid, boyhood.
"George Borrow and His Circle" by Clement King Shorter
In Christiania he spent some hard and penurious years, trying to make a livelihood as a journalist and man of letters.
"Essays on Scandinavian Literature" by Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen
Imagine a person walking in a garret from absolute penury to find himself a millionaire.
"The Beach of Dreams" by H. De Vere Stacpoole
He found his dear ones had all died in penury.
"A Man's Value to Society" by Newell Dwight Hillis
Was it out of disgust or surfeit or penury?
"The Book of Khalid" by Ameen Rihani
Now Captain Clayton is just the man to be doubly attracted by such penury.
"The Landleaguers" by Anthony Trollope
She had been in the deepest penury.
"Josephine" by John S. C. Abbott
To him, all the steps in the existence by which his own being had been preserved meant thrift and penury.
"Rose MacLeod" by Alice Brown
Thou shalt leave this home of penury with me, and I will make thee rich.
"Graham's Magazine, Vol XXXIII, No. 6, December 1848" by Various
Penuriousness strengthened upon him as his body grew feebler with age.
"The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Volume IV (of 8)" by William Wordsworth
The present was distinctly satisfactory: it meant absolute wealth compared with the penury of the old days.
"The Intriguers" by William Le Queux

In poetry:

``Nor wealth did lure, nor penury cramp,
Your ripening soul; it lived and throve,
Nightly beside the lettered lamp,
Daily in field, and glade, and grove.
"At The Gate Of The Convent" by Alfred Austin
He little knew the sly penurious art;
That odious art which Fortune's favourites know:
Form'd to bestow, he felt the warmest heart,
But envious Fate forbade him to bestow.
"Elegy III. On the Untimely Death of a Certain Learned Acquainance" by William Shenstone
Thy parents therefore filially revere,
For the vast love they unto thee express'd:
The weight of penury ne'er let them bear,
Whilst thou'rt alive, and with a penny bless'd.
"The Duty Of Children To Their Parents" by Rees Prichard
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll;
Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
"Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" by Thomas Gray
The dauntless will that scorns threat'ning defeat,
And breaks thro' penury's strong prison bars;
Can plant on triumphs proud his tow'ring feet,
And walk a shining highway to the stars.
"A Dream Of Glory" by Albery Allson Whitman
That with thee Nature wore a wrinkled face,
That not a leaf e'er shed its sylvan grace,
But, harden'd by their northern wind,
Rude, deceitful, and unkind,
Thy half-cloth'd sons their oaten cake denied,
Victims at once of penury and pride.
"Lines" by Sir John Carr

In news:

Years ago, in my penurious and somewhat traumatic 20s, I got into the habit of collecting interior-design magazines.
HOW IS ONE to speak of the plunge from the 1920s into the 1930s—the toboggan slide, as it seemed, from affluence to penury.
I prefer the words penurious and parsimonious .
I prefer to think of myself as penurious or parsimonious .
I prefer the words penurious and parsimonious.
I prefer to think of myself as penurious or parsimonious.
Looking for a shortcut to penury .
PARIS—The mayor of a French town struggling with poverty is on a hunger strike in front of the National Assembly to protest what he calls "financial penury" and lack of support from the national government.
PARIS — The mayor of a French town struggling with poverty is on a hunger strike in front of the National Assembly to protest what he calls "financial penury" and lack of support from the national government.
Republican lawmakers have declared that President Barack Obama's new health-care law will literally bankrupt the nation, driving small businesses into ruin and millions of Americans into penury.